Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | June 25, 2017

1948 Train Derailment – many changes to Pitt Street

On July 6,1948, CPR locomotive #857 derailed on Pitt Street in front of Albert Lalonde’s house at 524 Pitt Street. Details of the incident are available at this LINK.

These photos from our Marcel Quenneville collection afford glimpses of what the neighbourhood looked like at that time.

Just north of the Lalonde house, on the other side of Adams Avenue, stood the Canadian Tire store at 538 Pitt Street. Herb Edwards operated his electrical business from that same building.

Across the street at 517 Pitt stood the father and son Harvey Boucher blacksmith and welding shop. Isaac Waters/Boileau built the blacksmith shop at this location ca. 1860 on land purchased from John Sandfield Macdonald. The Bouchers were the last of a series of blacksmiths to practice their trade at this location. For more information and photos, see our post concerning this blacksmith shop at this LINK as well as our post on the series of blacksmith shops operated by Joseph Laundrie, a nephew of Isaac Waters, at this LINK.

Moving south we see N. Miller and Sons Ltd iron and scrap metal dealer. TV Cogeco sits on the site of those former businesses today. Continuing south we also see the Pentacostal Tabernacle at 507 Pitt, which has since been transformed into a restaurant turned mosque. Beyond that was the north wall of Wilson Auto Parts.

The CPR station was at 607 Pitt Street, just east of the accident site as seen in this 1966 aerial. The Giant Tiger plaza is now on the site of the former station.

The freight facilities were a block away, at one time the yard housing a large freight shed on Sixth Street East at Amelia Street while the turntable, engine house, water spout and ash pit, were along Adolphus Street. This 1963 Quenneville aerial photo reveals the former turntable and commercial sidings two blocks east of the CPR station.

This 1963 Fire Insurance Plan provides additional details.

This 1970 aerial photo shows the small mall at 609 Pitt Street (former train station) and the area south that is now the home of TV Cogeco. Note the Whitham Lawn Bowling Club on Sixth Street, which is now the site the of the Navy Club.

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